Wednesday, August 20, 2014

In the Garden /// Bonus Beds



Wow! Is it just me or did summer fly by in the blink of an eye?

I'm sad it's nearly over but I really have no regrets. For the first time in years I let myself really enjoy the summer months with planned vacation time and random days off to camp, picnic, play, beach comb, you name it, we did it!

And amongst all of the craziness my garden grew leaps and bounds while I wasn't looking. I figured a garden update was in order!



I'm not sure if I mentioned it, but our new place has a communal garden on the grounds consisting of two full-sun vegetable beds that were originally planted by Lifestyles Market (amazing!). Since moving in I'd watched them like a hawk hoping someone would tend to them and I could enthusiastically volunteer my assistance but the beds overwintered and then spring came and they were badly overtaken with morning glory and mint. No one paid them any mind and eventually most everything edible died off. 

{ strawberries transplanted from the old house }

I waited until I couldn't take it any longer and finally asked our caretaker if I could manage the beds. By this time it was late spring and I'd blown my gardening budget on my own backyard. All I had to offer was my elbow grease and a large collection of seeds from gardens past. 

I bought some cheap soil and started as many seeds as I could on my window ledge and out back. While I waited for things to germinate I set to work cleaning out the beds (an enormous job!). 

The seeds were old but everything sprouted and the neighborhood kids were eager to help plant up all of the young veggie starts.


{ nasturtiums from seed }


{ sweeties--started late--from seed }

Lately I can barely keep up with the weeds, watering has become a bit of a chore in this heat, and the soil needs some serious amending, but things are growing and I'm excited for next year when I can get a head start on my seeds and time to create a garden plan. 

I'm already collecting seeds and drying them in my closet to use for next year. 



{ dried chive flowers }

{ seed packet template by Gayla Trail of You Grow Girl }

And I just harvested my first handful of green beans for lunch today!
(Feeling pretty darn lucky) 


What about you? What are you harvesting from the garden this August?
Does anyone have tips on simple ways to amend poor soil? 

15 comments:

  1. You need to come help me do mine :) What's your favorite nursery to go to? I'm on the hunt for the hydrangeas. Also, I need to buy a ton of succlents? Tips on where to get?

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    1. Oh man Shan--I can't wait to help you plan your garden!!! Seriously, I LOVE doing it.

      HERBS /// I actually prefer Thrifty's, they have really healthy plants at prices that are the same or lower than local nurseries. The best selection is in the late spring.

      HERBS and VEGGIEs /// Root Cellar has an awesome selection, I don't think they are quite as cheap as Thrifty's but they have everything from blueberry plants to fig trees!

      SUCCULENTS /// Cannor Nursery has THE best succulent selection. They aren't the cheapest place in town but if you are looking for variety more than just the common ones you see everywhere this is where you want to go.

      ....as for the hydrangea, I've seen some beautiful ones in the garden center at Home Depot (however this was in the late spring/early summer so I don't know if they'd still have them in stock).

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  2. I typically use well rotted manure(from my sisters cow or moms sheep) ,plenty of leaf mulch and kelp meal is an excellent thing to mix in for nutrients .

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    1. Molly thank you for the tips! I was planning to add leaf mulch since it's readily available in the fall. I'll have to see if I can source a few of those other things locally to boost the soil.

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    2. I'm sure you could find a few bags of the black gold out saanich way fairly easily. It seems every time I'm over there I drive by at least one stand with some. Some other things that I turned into the soil this year was seaweed (shhhhhh), nettles, as well as saving up eggs shells for a few months beforehand and powdering them in a coffee grinder! Can you tell I have too much fun with this stuff :)

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    3. I'll keep my eyes peeled when I'm out near some of the farms. I've also been storing up egg shells but haven't really known how to apply them, so thanks for that! Do you wash them off so they don't gunk up your coffee grinder? I've been washing mine...

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    4. If they haven't dried sufficiently then bake them on a low heat in the oven . Maybe 30 minutes?

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  3. your garden looks great, and that's so good to hear that you had an awesome summer doing the fun things that you wanted to do. I had to start my patio container gardening late this year due to my England vacation (didn't want to burden the cat sitter with also trying to care for a patio full of fledgling plants), but it's looking good, i think the best it's had since I moved here!

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    1. Oh awesome!! I love when the garden thrives! We've had exceptional weather for gardening this year. I'd love to see what you've got growing (I'm a geek like that, lol)!

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  4. Your succulent pot is amazing! Mine always end up leggy and not so lush and beautiful. I think it's a lack of sun, so I've started moving my pots around the house throughout the day following the sun! Thanksfully, they are still alive, just not nearly as lush and lovely as I would hope.

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    1. Tanis my succulent pots have never, ever looked this good! I've had most of them for 10+ years and finally re-potted them. But I think they might be so lush this year because our new place has irrigation so they get a light spritz at 5 am once or twice a week! I never watered them before so I'm guessing that's what's made the difference. It's definitely not the hours of sunlight because in their current location they are getting less sun than they ever have!

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  5. My grandfather was an amazing gardener and he used well aged compost; lots of it. Turned a piece of ground that was useless into an amazingly productive vege patch. He kept on top of the weeds too; that's my downfall.

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    1. Oh how I wish I had access to some nice rich compost! And I hear ya, the weeds are killing me this year! We have really invasive species growing in the beds so it's a really tough job keeping on top of it.

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  6. Wow, those succulents are gorgeous. I have lots of peppers and tomatoes this year. I have a compost bin, and I use that on my garden beds. My city also has free compost they make from leaves picked up in the fall. You can have as much as you can load into your vehicle. You might see if your city has that as well.

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    1. Bonnie thanks for the suggestion! I will definitely have to look into that! And what kinds of tomatoes are you growing?

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